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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

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together as the Romans learned Greek and Latin. Two or
three years would be sufficient for these languages, and then
would follow a year of rhetoric and two years of philosophy.
All the while the studies of the first stage would be continued
and carried to a higher degree of perfection. After sixteen,
the scholars who had received this general education would
be able to go their own way. Nobles, soldiers, magistrates,
merchants, ministers of religion would all specialize in their
proper work.

" Objection may perhaps be made," he says, " that the educa-
tion I propose is impossible : in the first place, because there are
neither teachers nor the books required to carry it out; in the
second place, because young people could not learn all that is
comprised in the Plan in their early years."* The latter objection
he brushes lightly aside by appealing to the names of great men
like Locke and Nicole, who, he declares, are the real authors of
the Plan. The former objection he admits is more substantial.
Teachers cannot be made in a day, and though textbooks are
available in certain subjects they are lacking in others. But this
absence of proper textbooks is the less formidable difficulty of
the two, and it is here that he finds a way of escape. All that is
needed for the carrying out of a good plan of education is a supply
of books providing instruction and methods of instruction for all
ages from six or seven up to seventeen or eighteen. Let the king
appoint a commission of five or six men, statesmen and men of
letters, to go into the whole question of education; and when
it had been settled what was to be the aim of study, it would
be easy enough for them to make arrangements for the composi-
tion of elementary books. " These books would be the best
instruction the teachers could give, and would take the place
of every other method. Once written they would make up for
the lack of trained teachers, and it would be unnecessary to
discuss whether the teachers should be priests, or married
men or celibates. All would be good, provided they had
religion and character and were able to read well They
would soon train themselves in the process of training the

* P. 147-                           t P. 15**